After enjoying a day touring, studying, or working, it’s natural to want to relax and unwind. That is no exception in Japan. Nightlife in Tokyo is just as important when it comes to gaining the ultimate experience in Japan. There is a lot to see and do during the night including taking in the sights and lights, exploring restaurants and nightclubs, and a common nightlife past time, having a drink at a bar. But sometimes it is difficult to find a good bar that is 外国人 (gaikokujin) or foreigner-friendly, right? Here are seven foreigner-friendly bars that you can find in Shinjuku.
1. The Peak Bar
Softly lit by Japanese lanterns and located on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo literally towering over the city, the Peak Bar is a great choice to go for a drink. Many people enjoy the beauty of the bamboo interior that, along with the lanterns, adds a great Japanese aesthetic to a night out. It’s relaxing and a nice place to unwind while taking in the view of the twinkling lights below. Wednesday to Saturday nights you can enjoy a DJ set. This classy bar tends to become busy so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.
Name: The Peak Bar
Address: Park Hyatt Tokyo 41st Floor, Nishishinjuku Sanchome 7-1-2, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 163-1055, Japan
Business Hours: Daily 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Phone Number: (+81)3-5323-3461
Official Website: http://restaurants.tokyo.park.hyatt.co.jp/en/pbr.html
2. Shot Bar Zoetrope
If you’re looking for a harder liquor like Whiskey the Shot Bar Zoetrope is a great stop. This whiskey bar has a menu filled with premium whiskey that will surely be something to write home about. The bar is intimate and welcoming and the bartender will choose a great selection of whiskeys for a tasting which is good if you are not sure what to go for first. The size of the bar allows for visitors to meet new people and make friends with locals and foreigners alike, so it is certainly a bar of choice for many whiskey lovers.
Name: Shot Bar Zoetrope
Address: Nishishinjuku 7-10-14 Gaia Building 4, 3rd Floor, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Business Hours: Opens at 5 pm to 12:15 am
Phone Number: (+81)3-3363-0162
Official Website: http://ryden.way-nifty.com/zoetrope/
3. Brooklyn Parlor Shinjuku
Want to enjoy some nice music or a read a great book along with your drink? The Brooklyn Parlor in Shinjuku is the place to do it. This is truly a getaway for any artist or creative soul who needs a nice atmosphere to enjoy a beverage. The relaxed environment makes it a great place to unwind. The English speaking and friendly staff will recommend items upon request if you have trouble deciding what to order. The Brooklyn Parlor Shinjuku offers cocktails, ales, and sweet fruity aromatic beers from Quadraceratops Brooklyn Brewery. This bar is great for singles or friends.
Name: Brooklyn Parlor Shinjuku
Address: Shinjuku OIOI Anex Building 1st Floor, 3-1-26 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022 JAPAN
Business Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:30 am to 11:30 pm, Sunday 11:30 am to 11:00 pm
Phone Number: (+81)3-6457-7763
Official Website: http://www.brooklynparlor.co.jp/shinjuku/
Albatross is a gallery and bar that has been around since 1997. It has an interesting interior that some may consider fancy thanks to the beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It fits 15 people. It’s bigger than many of the bars in the area, so it appeals to foreigners who have a hard time getting used to small-sized establishments. There is a good selection of drinks to choose from. Since the bar is bigger, you can also enjoy the art that is on display and socialize instead of adhering to the unspoken drink-and-go rule of politeness in smaller bars.
Address: Nishishinjuku Kabukichou 1-1-7 Golden Gai 5 Ban Machi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Business Hours: 5:00 pm to 2:00 am
Phone Number: (+81)3-3203-3699
Official Website: www.alba-s.com/
5. Other Golden Gai Bars
Golden Gai is a block of multiple tiny streets and alleyways filled with bars. It is an area in Shinjuku that houses many foreigner-friendly bars. Although some are expensive, these bars are great because they are more on the casual side and they are not “tourist traps” but truly an area for locals. It’s rumored that the bars in Golden Gai don’t welcome foreigners. While some don’t, many of them do. Just look for bars with English signs in the front. Usually, these bars welcome anyone. A few popular bars include Hair of the Dog, Kenzo’s Bar, and ナナ (Nana).
Name: Golden Gai Block
Address: 1 Chome-1 Kabukichō, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0021, Japan
Business Hours: Sunday 8:00 pm (20:00) to 12:00 am (00:00), Monday – Saturday 5:30 pm (19:30) to 5:00 am (5:00)
Phone Number: (+81)3-3209-6418
Official Website: http://goldengai.jp/
There are many places to have a drink in Shinjuku. Thanks to the comfortable and cozy sizes of many Japanese establishments, if you go alone you will be in so close of a proximity that meeting new people and making friends would be inevitable. If you happen to find a place that you really like, becoming a regular can add to the experience of Japanese nightlife. Now that you have an idea of foreigner-friendly bars in Shinjuku, going out for drinks alone or with co-workers or university-mates can be less of a task and more of an experience to remember.
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